Performance Review – Part II

Performance review… that a hot button issue? Guess who has once again made it a big topic of discussion. Dear Old Prof. Culbert who has now expanded his WSJ article (that I referenced in this post) into a full book.

This morning I caught this post on facebook from NPR which drew quite a response. Other posts on NPR’s feed such as Zombies And Giant Squid: Summer’s Monster Hits! or Spy Exchange Would Be A Cold War Flashback draw on average a couple of hundred “Likes” and 50 to 100 comments. The post Annual Job Review Is ‘Total Baloney,’ Expert Says at this time has drawn 1213 Likes and has 265 comments. And you guessed it…most people hate the Performance Review.

Performance Reviews

I’ve been working on a talent management project at work for the past few months. This past week I have been obsessed with learning more about performance reviews. Specifically, I am looking for a story about a company where the performance review process WORKS and employees genuinely LOVE it.  Every company has a performance review process and yet, I haven’t come across anyone who has told me unequivocally that they like it.

The most provocative article I read is Prof. Culbert’s article in the Wall Street Journal.  In this article he essentially calls for scrapping the performance review (because it “destroys morale, kills teamwork and hurts the bottom line.”) and replacing it with something called a Performance Preview (“Reciprocally accountable discussions about how boss and employee are going to work together even more effectively than they did in the past”).

The article ticked off some HR folks and they responded with their blog posts. The best rebuttal in my opinion came from Kris Dunn in an article for Workforce Management called “Want to Kill the Annual Performance Review? Step Up or Shut Up!” (Available by registration at ) The article is summed up by this one sentence from the article: “You can only throw out the annual review if your managers can do one very important thing—coach talent on a daily basis.”

I am still searching for that story I mentioned earlier (Performance review process that everyone likes). Do you know of one?